Ep. 31 – Kathi Weeks, The Problem With Work

In this episode of Always Already, Rachel, John, and Emily find a whole lot to like in The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks. We discuss the subjectivizing power of the “work ethic,” as well as Weeks’s important contribution to scholarly debates about methodologies in theory-oriented disciplines. We think through her insistence on “demand” and its relationship to utopia, talk about her turn to Marxist feminism, wonder what her work has to say to democratic theory and to debates about ‘ideal theory’, and question her discussion of sex work, all while trying not to think about the “work” of producing a podcast to reach our audience!

This episode also includes a not-so-anonymous advice question regarding how to not talk about your dissertation to strangers AND a not-so-anonymous One or Several Wolves segment analyzing John’s recurring childhood dream.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.





Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research

Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research: http://ihr.ucsc.edu/portfolio/kathi-weeks-2-6-14/

2 thoughts on “Ep. 31 – Kathi Weeks, The Problem With Work

  1. Hi there, I’m not sure if you will read this, but I’ll go ahead nonetheless. Rachel, around the 26:00 minute mark you talk about the potential for ‘revolution’ (whatever that means) in social reproduction, e.g. care and domestic/household work. You mention Kathi Weeks talks about this, but Michael Hardt as well.

    Could you give an indication of where to find this kind of thought in the work of Hardt?

    Also, I want to let you know I’m laying the foundations for a very solid Always Already fanbase in the Netherlands, as I’m sharing you with all my peers who are vaguely interested in critical theory!

  2. Hey Simon,

    Thanks for the great question, for tuning in and for sharing the love in the Netherlands!

    In our discussion I was referring to Hardt’s short piece entitled “Affective Labor” (link here: http://www.english.ufl.edu/mrg/readings/Affective%20Labor.pdf), in which he refers to the potential for resistance within forms of labor that “produce and reproduce life” (he writes: “Staying alive: politics has become a matter of life itself and the struggle has taken the form of a biopower from above against a biopower from below”).It is part of his broader nod to “the potential of labor as biopower, a biopower from below.”

    Hope this helps! I believe Sylvia Federici talks about this all as well–will look for the reference I have in mind.


    Rachel and the Always Already Crew

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